When John D. Rockefeller was a young boy, he said that his two greatest ambitions were to make $100,000 and to live to be 100 years old. He died on May 23, 1937, just 26 months to his 100th birthday and with a net worth of $1.4 billion.
Over a forty-year career that was mired in controversy, Rockefeller made a name for himself in America’s budding oil industry. He built Standard Oil into the largest company in the world and eventually also became the richest man in the world. Adjusting for inflation, some experts suggest that Rockefeller was the richest human being ever to have lived.
Born November 13, 1810 in Richford, New York, John Davison Rockefeller was the second of six children to parents William and Eliza. William was a traveling salesman in the business of selling such suspect things as cancer cures. While he was away, it was left to Eliza to take care of the home. The family moved around, first to Moravia and later, Owego, where Rockefeller attended Owego Academy.
In 1853, the family moved to Strongsville, Ohio, where Rockefeller went to Central High School. At 19, he became a deacon at the Euclid Avenue Baptist Church and a trustee at 21. In 1855, Rockefeller dropped out of high school to take a business course at Folsom Mercantile College. A six-month course, Rockefeller had completed it in just three.
After searching for six weeks, Rockefeller found his first job as an apprentice bookkeeper at Hewitt & Tuttle, a commission merchant and produce shipping company. He started off earning 50 cents per day, a salary that would gradually increase over the next two years due to his increasing responsibilities and improving performance. In 1859, Rockefeller felt that he was no longer making the amount of money he deserved and so he left Hewitt & Tuttle. With a partner, Maurice Clark, Rockefeller decided... [continues]
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